London SE1 community website

Animatronic statue on Sumner Street

Join in these discussions today! Log in or register.
Monday 26 November 2007 1.13pm
This might be of interest if you haven't seen it:

Has anyone managed to get the statue to move for them? In the video it looks as if you only have to copy it for a little while before it will copy you, but Mrs T and I couldn't get it to work on Friday evening when we went past. There is an X on the floor which we guessed might be a good place to stand. I might go back with a camera as an aid to feeling less silly holding a pose!
Related news & features
Monday 26 November 2007 8.10pm
My wife and I stopped at the statue on the way to the Tate on Sunday afternoon. We stood waiting for it to move for about 5 minutes to no avail.
After a period my wife became bored and went window shopping in the nearby shops. I followed after her keeping an eye on the statue and finally the statue moved. I called to her and it continued moving. We watched as it took a pose and then reverted back to its original pose.
There was no one near it at the time so I wonder if it really does copy people's poses or whether it is actually on a timer. I looked to see if I could see any obvious camera that may observe peoples poses and relay them to computer, but could not see one.
Anyway it is a fun thing, and if it makes people take up strange poses in front of it, all well and good.
Tuesday 27 November 2007 1.28pm
I stood by it this morning, and it went from looking away at its thumb with its arm outstretched to facing me with its arms down.
However, I had my hands on my head and it didn't seem to notice.

I suspect it might have been relocated from near the London Eye. Expect to see a hat in front of it within a couple of days.
Tuesday 27 November 2007 8.05pm
I am not sure the statue really does mimic a person's pose.

Allegedly David Irvine had a go, on his way back from the debate in Oxford University.

I heard a rumour that, try as he might, he couldn't get the statue to execute a Nazi salute.

Sunday 14 June 2009 11.38am
Anyone noticed how this statue has become a bit of an embarrassment? It just stands there, having continuous, uncontrolled spasms all day. I think it's broken.

Hopefully someone will put it out of its misery some time soon. Like this, maybe.
Sunday 14 June 2009 2.06pm
Yes, it is broken. Greyworld, the arts collective behind it are forever fiddling about with it. These kinds of outdoor installations are never going to be trouble free, constant changes in temperature effecting the mechanics. It annoys me when this sort of thing isn't properly researched before funding. I actually prefer its 'fits' to what was intended (not that that ever seemed to work either!)
Thursday 13 August 2020 3.13pm
The last post to this thread seems to have been in 2009. Is the statue still broken? If so, when will it be fixed? Thanks.
Wednesday 19 August 2020 7.58am
Nope. Still dead. I can't see it being repaired frankly. It would require a maintenance grant and I can't see that being a priority these days.
Wednesday 19 August 2020 9.45am
Seems to be a common problem that things like this are put up without any thought given as to how they will be maintained. Shame.
Thursday 20 August 2020 7.57am
It is. Look how long it was before the 'Smarty' lights got repaired on Southwark St. There's never a budget to extend beyond the initial installation. It's a case of praying it just works, however, complex outdoor artworks are always going to struggle in our changeable climate. Look at the benches opposite the lights, slowly deteriorating because there are no funds to restore them.

To post a message, please log in or register..
We are part of
Independent Community News Network
Email newsletter

For the latest local news and events direct to your inbox every Monday, you need our weekly email newsletter SE1 Direct.

7,000+ locals read it every week. Can you afford to miss out?

Read the latest issue before signing up

Also on the forum
Views expressed in this discussion forum are those of the contributors and may not reflect the editorial policy of this website. Please read our terms and conditions